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Poisonous clothes

October 2011

Poisonous clothes

A Greenpeace investigation has found traces of a deadly toxin in children’s and adult’s clothing from 14 major brands.
    According to reports in the Ecologist, the toxin, nonylphenol ethoxylate (NPE) has been found in clothes from many high street stores in the UK.
    The chemical breaks down to form nonylphenol in water, which disrupts hormone levels and has been known to cause fish to change gender.
    Nonylphenol builds up in each level of the food chain, meaning humans receive the highest dosage and can suffer from hormone imbalances as a result of eating contaminated fish and water.
    The report said that although NPE has been banned from use in textile production in the EU, Asian countries such as China and Vietnam do not have the same restrictions, meaning NPE is used widely in the dyeing process.
    However, several large brands named in the Greenpeace study have claimed the testing methods were untrustworthy and, according to a statement made to the Ecologist, the level of findings are ‘very low’, so as to be without proof.

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